A great article in The Punch online magazine by Melinda Tankard Reist, http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/Violence-against-women-is-endemic-to-our-sick-culture/ as a lead up to White Ribbon Day on November 25. The article clearly catalogs a range of violent practices against women that are dressed up to look like fashion, pop culture, television or just plain good entertainment. Tankard Reist gives numerous examples of some of the degrading messages about women that appear on T-Shirts, website’s, and books that promote violence against women. Tankard Reist starts by saying;
“Of course it’s good that men stand up and pledge not to be violent and put white ribbons on their shirt collars. We need men to be engaged in the issue. But since the inception of White Ribbon Day, violence against women and children has continued unabated. And the culture that helps to makes violence against women permissible, even something to be celebrated, remains unaddressed.
Moreover, the cultural messages that eroticise violence against women and make it appear sexy, is the same culture in which survivors of sexual assault have to survive. What happened to them is made into something others call art and fashion.
Media, advertising and popular culture reflect values. Any reading of the social landscape tells us that women are really only good for one thing: to be used sexually.”
Definitively worth a read and the most concerning part of the article is the comments she has received. Many demonstrating a lack of understanding of the damaging nature of this type of rhetoric. Many passing it off as ‘fun’, ‘fantasy’ or worse that they don’t see it as a problem;
08:28am | 23/11/11
@KH, I think you miss the point that we see advertising like that and think “care factor zero”. Ignore it and it will go away. Keep hyping it up and the advertisers are the winners, and you are their foot soldiers.”
Australia’s campaign to
stop violence against women
White Ribbon is an organisation that is working to prevent the most common and pervasive form of male violence – that towards women. All forms of violence are unacceptable. White Ribbon believes the prevention of violence against women will change society for the better.
White Ribbon believes in the capacity of the individual to change and to encourage change in others. It believes that our generation can and must work towards stopping violence against women.
Through primary prevention initiatives and an annual campaign, White Ribbon works to change the attitudes and behaviours that lead to men’s violence against women.
From the WhiteRibbon Website.